Whistleblower tips to SEC rise 8%

BY KEN TYSIAC

Tips to the SEC by whistleblowers rose 8% in fiscal year 2013 over the previous fiscal year, according to an SEC report to Congress.

The SEC received 3,238 tips in FY 2013, compared with 3,001 tips in FY 2012, the first full year of the program. The SEC’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

Among complaints attributed to a category the SEC is tracking, misconduct related to corporate disclosures and financials was most frequently alleged by whistleblowers, with 557 reports, up slightly from 547 the previous year.

Whistleblower reports alleging offering fraud rose the most, to 553 in FY 2013 from 465 in FY 2012. Allegations by whistleblowers of manipulation also were frequent, jumping to 525 in FY 2013 from 457 in FY 2012.

The largest number of complaints—764 in FY 2013—were not attributed to a specific category.

Mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, P.L. 111-203, the whistleblower program awarded tipsters a total of $14.8 million in FY 2013. More than $14 million of that total was awarded to one whistleblower whose information led to a substantial recovery of investor funds.

Whistleblowers who voluntarily report original information that leads to a successful enforcement action resulting in monetary sanctions of more than $1 million can receive awards of 10% to 30% of the money collected.

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

SPONSORED REPORT

Time to prepare for overtime changes

As an employer, trusted business adviser, or HR professional, you will need to be aware of exemption guidance, record requirements, advice for clients, and typical problems in applying overtime pay.

QUIZ

News quiz: Good news on pay and benefits for accountants

CPAs can find much to like in recent reports, including news that their expertise and skills are in such demand that pay is expected to rise and that their employers value professional certifications.

CHECKLIST

Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.